Mental health illnesses and its treatments are still topics shrouded in mystery.
This write up seeks to bring clarity to some commonly held misconceptions.
Myth #1: Mental health issues are rare
4.2 million Malaysians aged 16 and above are suffering from mental health problems (NHMS).
Mental illness is expected to be the second biggest health problem affecting Malaysians after heart diseases by 2020 (NHMS).
NHMS : The National Health and Morbidity Survey
Myth #2: Mental illnesses are lifelong and untreatable
Mental health disorders can be treated with psychotherapy or medication, and oftentimes both.
Typically, treatment is often less a matter of years but more a matter of months.
Myth #3: I can handle my own mental health, and if I cannot, I am weak
Many people when faced with a mental health, struggle to rely on coping mechanisms such as exercise, eating, hanging out with friends, work and more.
Nevertheless, it is a clear indication of needing additional help when problems become overwhelming, despite your efforts in handling it.
Recognizing your own human limitations is not about being weak, it is about being wise.
Myth #4: If you go to a mental health professional for therapy, you must be crazy or unstable
Many patients come in for professional therapy because they have reached a “stuck” point in their lives or situations.
In the classic book the “The Gift of Therapy”, Yalom writes, “ No, what I had to do was to identify and remove obstacles. The rest would follow automatically, fueled by the self-actualizing forces within the patient.”
You are not crazy or unstable, you are just stuck for that moment.